From the beginning of time, different things have influenced the world either positively or negatively. The positives help in advancements, while the negatives, like disasters, destroy and delay growth. Whether natural or man-made, disasters pose huge threats to mankind. In this article, we’ll be focusing on the top five natural disasters and their devastating effects.
The Bhola cyclone occurred in 1970 in East Pakistan (now called Bangladesh). On November 8th, the cyclone formed over the Bay of Bengal region and then moved towards the north, becoming more powerful as it progressed (up to 130 mph). It crashed into surrounding lands between the 10th and 12th, causing maximum damage.
This tropical cyclone resulted in the deaths of about 300,000 – 500,000 people. It also caused economic problems as the disaster damages cost over $86 million and affected over 3 million individuals.
The Tangshan earthquake occurred on July 28, 1976, in Tangshan, Hebei, China. The earthquake started with two major shocks of magnitude 7.6 and 7.0. These shocks resulted in several aftershocks (with some still seismically active) that ravaged the entire city.
About 300,000 people in the city died, and about 750,000 individuals were severely injured. The region was a major industrial and mining area in China, so it affected the economy of China adversely.
The Aleppo earthquake occurred on October 11, 1138, in Aleppo, Northern Syria. It reportedly had a magnitude of over 7.0. Not much is known about how it happened, but it is said to be the third deadliest earthquake in history.
The earthquake resulted in the deaths of about 230,000 individuals in Aleppo and neighboring regions. It resulted in the mass destruction and collapse of numerous houses, religious buildings, forts, and more, leaving many homeless, thus leading to mass displacements and delays in civilization.
Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami
The Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami happened on December 26, 2004. It started as an earthquake of very high magnitude (about 9.1 on the Richter scale) on the coasts of Sumatra, Indonesia. This earthquake caused a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that hit about 12 East African and South Asia nations.
Due to the large number of nations affected, the earthquake and tsunami resulted in the deaths of over 250,000 people. It also caused a major displacement of about 2 million individuals and the destruction of properties and infrastructure worth about $10 billion.
Yangtze River Floods
The Yangtze River floods occurred in 1931 in China. It is the deadliest natural disaster to ever occur to date. Between July and August 1931, China experienced intense rainfall and the spring melting of mountain snow. These resulted in the overflooding of the Yangtze River.
While the number of people that died from the resulting flood cannot be accurately stated, it was said to have caused over 3.7 million deaths and flooded a very large area of land (up to 180,000 sq. km). This adversely affected about 51 million people in one way or the other.